Portland State to offer free tuition for eligible transfer students

Low-income Oregonian college students transferring to Portland State University will no longer have to pay tuition beginning Fall 2018 if they are eligible for the federal Pell Grant and enroll full-time upon transferring. 

PSU’s new Transfers Finish Free program will cover base tuition and mandatory fees for up to 15 credits per term to eligible transfer students from any 4-year college or community college. 

Students in PSU Multicultural Center“PSU is an access institution that creates opportunities for students to obtain a valuable college education to open up career opportunities,” PSU President Rahmat Shoureshi said. “Transfers Finish Free will make it easier for eligible transfer students — who are the majority of PSU’s student body — to attend the university without struggling to find funds to cover tuition. Their successes at PSU and beyond will enhance their lives and boost Oregon’s economy.”

Here are the eligibility requirements for transfers to receive free tuition:

  • Must be a current resident of Oregon
  • Admitted to PSU as a transfer student for the Fall 2018 (have at least 30 or more transferable quarter credits - 20 semester credits - earned after high school graduation)
  • Have a 2.5 or higher cumulative unweighted G.P.A.
  • Eligible to receive a Pell Grant as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
  • Enrolled full-time at PSU (between 12 and 15 credits per term)
  • Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress and meet all registration deadlines

-> Visit the Transfers Finish Free program

“The success of our other tuition initiative, Four Years Free, to cover tuition and fees for incoming freshman has generated demand for additional programs to help increase access for transfer students,” said John Fraire, PSU’s vice president for enrollment management and student services. “Transfers Finish Free is our answer to helping low-income community college students attend PSU.”

Because of Four Years Free, more than 500 low-income high school students in Oregon were able to enroll as freshmen at Portland State last year, many of whom would not be able to attend PSU without it.

Transfers Finish Free aims to open access for transfer students in a similar way. 

Fraire said the transfer tuition initiative will also give community college educators and counselors an important financial aid tool to incentivize students to get good grades so they can afford to finish their degree at PSU.

Transfers Finish Free PresentersTransfers Finish Free is open to all students not currently enrolled at PSU who meet the qualifications. For example, a transfer student who has a semester left in college can still qualify if their requirements are met, including being enrolled with at least 12 credits. 

“We don’t want any deserving transfer student to be turned away from an opportunity to obtain a college degree because of their financial status,” Fraire said. “That’s why PSU  is not planning to cap the number of students eligible for the free tuition.” 

At a press conference held at PSU, current Portland Community College students Britton Jorgenson and Diana Jimenez Alcalá spoke about how they would be participating in Transfers Finish Free when they enroll at PSU this fall.

For Alcalá, the first of eight grandchildren to attend college in her family, Transfers Finish Free will be transformative. "This program provides a great opportunity," she said. "With it I can completely immerse myself in my studies. Completing this degree and completing study abroad will be a huge milestone for me and my family."

Transfers Finish Free is what’s known as a “last dollar” program, meaning that an eligible student must accept and use all federal and state grants before PSU makes up the difference. Transfer students can have their tuition covered for up to four years if they continue to meet the eligibility requirements. 

Transfer students interested in this program need to apply to PSU and submit their FAFSA by July 1, as well as submit their final transcript to the university by Aug. 1.

For more information, please visit the Transfers Finish Free website or call PSU’s Office of Admissions at 503-725-3511.

Second photo caption: John Fraire, PSU's vice president for enrollment management and student services, Britton Jorgenson and Diana Jimenez Alcalá, PCC students, and Rahmat Shoureshi, PSU president.